Employee Benefits Compliance, Exchanges, Health Insurance Marketplaces, Marketplaces

Total Exchange Enrollment 106,185 for October 1 – November 2

(This article was updated on 11/22/2013 to add the enrollment numbers for California.)

HHS today announced long-awaited enrollment numbers for the first month the Health Insurance Exchanges/Marketplaces have been open:

  • 106,185 total enrollments in both federal and state exchanges/marketplaces.

This is comprised of:

  •   79,391 enrollments through state marketplaces (74.8%)
  •   26,794 enrollments through the federal marketplace (26.2%), which is operating in 36 states.

Of the 79,391 enrollments in state marketplaces, 35,364 were in Covered California (the California state-based marketplace). This is almost one-third of the total enrollments nationwide, almost half (45%) of the total enrollments in state marketplaces, and is more than the total enrollments in the 36 states in the federal marketeplace.

“Enrolled” is defined as people who have selected a plan whether or not they have paid a premium yet. For other purposes (such as payments to navigators or commission payments to insurance agents), individuals are not considered enrolled until they have paid for the first month’s premium.

The enrollment numbers were far below the Administration’s initial expectations, but are not surprising in light of the IT “glitches” in the federal marketplace (HealthCare.gov) and even in some of the state marketplace websites.   The HHS report notes that the enrollment of 106,185 individuals is 1.5% of the total number of enrollees the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected by the end of the 2014 open enrollment period (CBO estimate, May 2013).

The full HHS report (28-pages) is available at:  http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/MarketPlaceEnrollment/rpt_enrollment.pdf

Total Marketplace /Exchange Applications

Although only 106,185 individuals had enrolled through the online marketplaces during the first month, more than 10 times that many individuals were determined to be eligible to enroll in a marketplace health insurance policy.  The HHS report provides the following information on the number of completed applications, individuals included in applications, and individuals deemed eligible to enroll:

  •     846,184   total number of completed applications through the marketplaces
  • 1,509,883   total number of individuals included in completed applications  (Applications for couples or families are made for more than one individual.)
  • 1,081,592   total number of individuals determined to be eligible to enroll in a marketplace plan

Medicaid Enrollment during October

HHS also released data on enrollment in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for October 1 – November 2.  A total of 392,261 individuals have enrolled, almost four times as many as have enrolled in private health insurance through the marketplaces.  Since enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP is free and is easier than enrollment in private health insurance (because many of the technical problems were with subsidy amounts for private insurance and the requirement that individuals establish an account in order to view accurate subsidy amounts), it is also worth comparing the 392,261 Medicaid and CHIP enrollments to the 1,081,592 individuals who were determined to be eligible to enroll in a marketplace insurance plan.